Singer nabbed after airport brawl

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson was arrested after an airport tussle with paparazzi.
One Direction's Louis Tomlinson was arrested after an airport tussle with paparazzi.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • One Direction heart-throb Louis Tomlinson was arrested after an airport brawl with paparazzi that left two people injured, police said last Saturday.

The 25-year-old Briton was at the baggage claim area at Los Angeles International Airport with a girlfriend last Friday evening when he entered a tussle with a photographer, police said.

"Witnesses stated that Tomlinson pulled the photographer to the floor by his legs causing the victim to fall backwards and strike his back and head on the floor," said airport police spokesman, officer Alicia Hernandez.

Tomlinson then also allegedly caused a woman in the area to fall when he grabbed her phone as she tried to record footage of the singer's companion, Ms Hernandez said.

The photographer was taken to a hospital. The extent of his injuries is not clear. The woman with the cellphone hurt her eye, but was treated on site, Ms Hernandez said.

Tomlinson was taken into custody and released early Saturday morning after posting a US$20,000 (S$28,000) bond, a sheriff's department database showed.

He was ordered to appear before a court on March 29 to hear potential charges. He was arrested on allegation of simple battery, a misdemeanor that is usually settled with a fine.

Tomlinson was not at fault in the row, said entertainment lawyer Martin Singer, who represents him.

"The paparazzi provoked and caused the altercation that occurred with Louis," he said in a statement.

"While the altercation was going on with the paparazzi, three other individuals were attacking his girlfriend during this incident."

Tomlinson, who has sold more than 50 million records as part of One Direction, has been a favourite in the gossip pages.

He had a son last year with Briana Jungwirth, a Los Angeles stylist whom he had briefly dated. The two are said to remain friends as they raise the child.

One Direction, once known for a squeaky-clean image that drew massive crowds of teenage girls, has been on a hiatus since late 2015, with former member Zayn Malik pursuing the most active solo career.

Tomlinson has been working with Simon Cowell - the judge of The X Factor show that launched One Direction - on putting together an all-girl pop band.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2017, with the headline 'Singer nabbed after airport brawl'. Print Edition | Subscribe